Eph. 4:22-24 tells us, “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
These verses say it all in the key to a successful marriage (next to having God in the center). I have talked and talked about “self” and will probably talk and talk some more about it. Self is the major culprit of problems in marriages and in our relationship with God. If you put an “h” in front of self, (maybe to represent him or her), then spell it backwards, you have “flesh” Flesh and self go hand in hand. One begets the other.
The first step in putting off your old self is the desire to do so. We need God’s help to do this. I was amazed at how quickly I threw off my old self when I finally realized that I desperately needed help. I was willing to do whatever I had to do to change my life and I reached out to God when I was at the end of my rope. (Of course, I went through hell first before I got to that point. You may have to go through the fire before you find the desire [Ooh! I like that! It rhymes!]). If your desire isn’t so strong, it may not be quite so simple for you.
Putting off our old self, or getting rid of it, begins in our minds. Our thinking affects everything we do. Remember: “Watch your thoughts they become words. Watch your words they become actions, watch your actions they become habits, watch your habits they become your character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.”
If we only realized how crucial our thoughts are to everything we say and do. We have to learn to change our thinking in order to live the life God has planned for us. Negative thoughts turn into negative words which turn into negative actions and make you a hard person to live with.
Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Don’t live by what the world tells you, but guide your thinking to what God tells you. This verse goes on to say, “Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will.”
I’m the first to admit how easily I get sidetracked by the world. I don’t like it. The enemy is so subtle though, he can make you believe all your involvements are noble, when he’s really trying to keep you from what God has planned for you. That’s why it is so important to find out from God, first, what He has in mind for your life.